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Tukituki Catchment Proposal

Final Day of Tukituki Catchment Proposal –Board of Inquiry Hearing

Day 29 - 21 January 2013

Colin Riden completed his submission which he began yesterday (20 Jan 2014)

The rest of the day focussed on the closing submissions of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council/Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council/Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd Closing Submissions Counsel for HBRC/HBRIC Ltd spent six hours presenting its closing submissions to the board on Tukituki Plan Change 6 and resource consents for Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

It covered a wide range of topics raised throughout the seven week hearing including consultation around Plan Change 6 & RWSS, the approach to nutrient management and the TRIM conceptual models of the Tukituki Catchment, developed for RWSS to predict nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in streams. It also covered the adequacy of the mitigation and offsetting approach.

Counsel said the single largest issue debated at the hearing has been whether proposed water quality limits for nitrogen in Plan Change 6 are appropriate

Counsel also said Fish & Game’s version of Plan Change 6 (supported by Environmental Defence Society) is so impractical that it borders on fanciful and would have severe adverse social and economic effects.

Counsel said given the number of submitters expressing the view that the social and economic benefits of RWSS had been overstated, the lack of evidence to substantiate the claims is telling, as is the fact no party chose to cross-examine Andy McFarlane or Mr Lewis on their MacFarlane Rural Business Limited farm economic assessment.

In summing up Counsel said this is not just a case about “dairy” or a so called “single nutrient” management approach. It said it is a case about a river, a catchment and the people and communities (including Maori) living within and sustained by the water and land resources of that catchment.

Counsel submitted given the safeguards in place, both Plan Change 6 and RWSS should be approved for the brooder social, cultural, economic and environmental benefit of the catchment and the region.

HBRC & HBRIC Ltd, Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, the Heretaunga parties and Te Tai Whenua o Tamatea lodged a joint memorandum providing some further amendments to Plan Change 6 provisions, RWSS resource consent conditions and the mitigation proposal and were granted leave to file a more detailed memorandum with the board by 8 February 2014.

Over the last seven weeks of the hearing the board has heard around 73 submitter/representations and approximately 70 expert witnesses.

The board has now adjourned to consider all the evidence and submissions before releasing its draft decision in late February/early March. There will then be an opportunity for parties to comment on some of the details of the draft decision before a final decision is released in April 2014.

To read daily transcripts from the hearing.

ENDS

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